Historic image of the Latta house before it burned down

Parks and Recreation

Latta University Historic Park Master Plan

Enriching the understanding of Raleigh's History

The project area is located at 1001 Parker Street and occupies approximately two acres of land in the historic Oberlin neighborhood. The property comprises the remnant land area of Latta University founded in 1892, and the site of the former Latta residence, destroyed by fire in 2007. The university was an African-American coeducational institution founded by the Reverend Latta, a freed enslaved person and teacher, to educate underprivileged and orphan children in Raleigh’s Black community.  

Project Details

Phase 1 Construction Budget: $200,000



Emma Liles

Lead Department:
Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources




On March 3, 2020, the City of Raleigh City Council voted unanimously to approve the Latta University Historic Park Master Plan!

On February 27, 2020, the Raleigh Historic Development Commission granted the Latta University Historic Park Master Plan a Certificate of Appropriateness with the following conditions:

  1. There will be no demolition delay for the removal of the trees.
  2. That archaeological guidance be received from the Office of State Archaeology and submitted to RHDC staff prior to plan implementation
  3. That new COA application(s) be filed for the new landscape and hardscape features; design and materials of the new architectural elements including a pavilion, signage, and other miscellaneous features.

The Latta University Historic Park Master Plan is uploaded at https://www.publicinput.com/latta

Next, we will be starting the schematic design for phase one implementation. Stay tuned for periodic updates as we move forward with this exciting park project.



The Master Plan Process is complete, and the Schematic Design for Phase One Implementation was approved by City Council on December 1, 2020.

Construction documents for Phase One Implementation were completed in late 2022 with construction anticipated in 2023.

Staff are working with the community to develop an Interpretive Plan for Latta University Historic Park. The plan will determine specific interpretive goals for the site, while honoring the broader interpretive recommendations included in the Master Plan. The Interpretive Planning Committee’s objectives include identifying themes and story lines to be addressed in the interpretive elements throughout the park; considering the location of interpretive signage and interactive features; and recommending future programming opportunities. The Interpretive Planning Committee is looking at the project comprehensively with both Phase 1 and Phase 2 in mind. The Interpretive Plan will be shared online for public comment prior to completion.


Are you looking for more ways to get involved with Latta University Historic Park? To read more about volunteer opportunities and the Donor Bench Program, please visit our Public Input website.


Construction of Phase One of the Latta University Historic Park began in Spring 2023 and will continue into late Summer 2023. 

Once construction is complete, the next step will be finalizing the interpretive panels for the site. The Interpretive Committee has been hard at work finalizing the Interpretive Plan  and using that to craft the signage for the park. 

Additionally, following the completion of construction, the LUHP Planting Plan will be implemented. This will focus on succession planting to maintain the wonderful tree canopy on site, as well as some focused replanting in areas impacted by construction. 

Raleigh Parks would love to keep the community involved as construction wraps up, so please sign up if you would like to hear about upcoming volunteer events this fall!

The opening celebration for the park is tentatively planned for Spring 2024


Phase details coming soon.


Date Activity
Winter 2018 Situation Assessment
Spring 2019 - Fall 2019 Public Process
March 2020 Master Plan Approval
2020 Schematic Design
2022-2023 Final Design, Permitting and Bidding
Spring-Summer 2023 Start Construction
Saturday, April 20, 2024 Park Dedication Event


A former enslaved person on the Cameron Plantation, Rev. M.L. Latta was one of Shaw University’s first graduates. The Latta House was the last remaining historical landmark of the original 26 structures that comprised Latta University. The Latta House was designated a Raleigh Historic Landmark in 1993 and listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2002. Unfortunately, the Latta House was destroyed by fire in 2007.

In January 2009 an archaeological survey began at the site of the former Reverend M.L. Latta House and University. The Raleigh Historic Districts Commission (RHDC) worked with City Parks and Recreation staff and Environmental Services, Inc. to complete the archaeological survey. On Aug. 4, 2009, the Raleigh City Council accepted the archaeological report as presented by the RHDC and the consultant.

The Raleigh Historic Districts Commission administered the archaeological survey for the City of Raleigh. The investigation was conducted to recover artifacts and data from the Latta House and accessory buildings, additional buildings related to the University, an old well located on the property, and other site features. A comprehensive analysis of the site yielded new information regarding the history and prior land-use of the University and residence. Based on findings, the consultant, Environmental Services, Inc., recommended that the site be reinstated as a Raleigh Historic Landmark.

On July 6, 2010, City Council adopted an ordinance designating the Latta House and University Site as a Raleigh Historic Landmark.

Related Projects

  All projects